In 2011, some social tenants at Kottbusser Tor, then and now one of the poorest neighborhoods in Berlin, found the third rent increase within a year in their letterboxes. What followed was a journey that has yet to stop. First, an open letter was written, asking to end the rent increases. After all, this was social housing and still at the time more expensive than the free market average in Kreuzberg.
One year later, the first iteration of the Gecekondu, a protest hut built from pallets, was constructed on the sidewalk. Few were read into it and we had no roof, but we made a promise: We won’t go away until our problem with high rents is solved. Weekly demonstrations, a conference on social housing and other topics and 24/7 protest at Kottbusser Tor followed. We did not fight only against high rents anymore. The protest is about dignity, it is about migration, the right to the city and friendships that seek and find the common ground in order to fight for our common goal: A safe and just future, right here where we belong.
10 years after that day when we constructed the Gecekondu, a lot has been achieved, from social rent freeze to re-nationalization. We even have a roof now.
To celebrate the victories, honour former members and have a great time, join us on Saturday, 18th of June, from 3pm at our Gecekondu at Kottbusser Tor (Admiralstraße).
There will be food, a lot of music, face-painting for kids and we’ll present the most bizarre case of bad landlording, a co-production from Deutsche Wohnen and Howoge.
More Infos here.
Watch our documentary here.